The energy consumption problem in the mobile industry has become crucial. For the sustainable growth of the mobile industry, energy efficiency (EE) of wireless systems has to be significantly improved. Plenty of efforts have been invested in achieving green wireless communications. This article provides an overview of network energy saving studies currently conducted in the 3GPP LTE standard body. The aim is to gain a better understanding of energy consumption and identify key EE research problems in wireless access networks. Classifying network energy saving technologies into the time, frequency, and spatial domains, the main solutions in each domain are described briefly. As presently the attention is mainly focused on solutions involving a single radio base station, we believe network solutions involving multiple networks/systems will be the most promising technologies toward green wireless access networks.


Idle Transceivers

Transmission/ aux (optional) (TXM)

The authors provide an overview of network energy saving studies currently conducted in the 3GPP LTE standard body. The aim is to gain a better understanding of energy consumption and identify key EE research problems in wireless access networks.

The mobile industry faces a critical energy consumption challenge. Anticipated by Gartner [1], by 2013 smartphones will exceed 1.82 billion units and surpass PCs as the most common web access devices. Consequently, more wireless infrastructures have to be deployed with large demands on energy. Meanwhile, data-intensive services are beginning to dominate mobile services. The network data volume is expected to increase by a factor of 10 every five years, associated with a 16–20 percent increase of energy consumption [2]. Applying this rate to mobile communications, which contribute 15–20 percent of the entire information and communications technologies (ICT) energy footprint and 0.3–0.4 percent of global CO2 emissions [2], the mobile

industry faces a great sustainable development problem in energy consumption. It is crucial to develop energy-efficient wireless technologies to meet this challenge. We study in this article the energy efficiency (EE) of the wireless access network, which is broadly defined as any wireless system using radio base stations (RBSs) or access points (AP) to interface mobile devices with the core network or Internet. The reasons to focus on wireless access networks are following. First, since wireless access networks are the most widely deployed wireless networks in the world, energy-efficient solutions designed for wireless access networks are expected to significantly improve EE in the ICT sector. Second, as a long tradition, the standards of wireless access networks are mainly focused on throughput performance. Only recently has EE been receiving increasing attention. Significant studies are needed to balance performance and EE. Third, the demand from mobile users for EE is urgent in order to enjoy better mobile services. As shown in Fig. 1, statistics indicate that the RBS is the main source of energy consumption in the network of a mobile operator [3]. Energyefficient solutions for wireless access networks are mainly concentrated on RBSs. Among all components in an RBS, power amplifiers (PAs) drain the most energy. Energy is also dissipated in alternating current/direct current (AC/DC) converting, cabling, and cooling. Various solutions have been proposed to improve EE of the RBS, such as increasing PA efficiency, using non-active cooling techniques, employing masthead PA to reduce feeder loss, exploiting energy efficient backhaul solutions, applying energy-efficient deployment strategies, and introducing energy-efficient protocols. This article overviews soft methods to improve EE of RBSs, with an emphasis on Long Term Evolution (LTE) sys-

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IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011

Moreover. The unit of the EE metric is then bits per joule. Moreover. due to the open nature of the wireless medium. The useful work in a communication system refers to the effort to deliver modulated signals for information exchange. in a wireless system. 1: • ηEE does not monotonically increase with B or P. One way is to define EE as the ratio of efficient output power/energy to total input power/energy. There are several observations from Eq. and evaluate the EE of RBSs in various wireless access networks. In reality. In a practical system where the bandwidth is a less flexible parameter. efficiency of antennas. Due to the imperfection of electronic components. Reducing energy wasted by RBSs becomes the main concern of energy saving in a wireless access system. PAs. the required power is fixed to P = N 0R ln2. wideband code-division multiple access (WCDMA). and N 0 is the noise power spectral density. LTE systems [5]. the circuits of a system will turn a significant amount of energy into heat. a system is usually designed to transform energy to useful work. ETSI has defined the common methods and practices to model. For a wireless system. and. in a RBS the energy transforming to heat dominates the energy consumption of the RBS. only part of the radiated energy reaches the receiver. In the field of engineering. Mobile telephone exchange (MTX) 20% Radio base station (RBS) Core network 15% 57% UNDERSTANDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY It is worth understanding EE before introducing energy saving techniques. but tune parameters in protocols. The other way defines EE as the performance per unit of energy consumption. 1 is an ideal model without considering the hardware implementation of a system. additionally. EE is the function of power density P/B. Soft methods do not upgrade hardware. B is the bandwidth. They enable flexible and cost-efficient solutions with minimum impact on hardware implementation. This definition is widely used by systems and components such as power supply. This is referred to as floatingpoint operations per second (FLOPS) in digital signal processing (DSP). RBSs conforming to the same standard but produced by different manufacturers are likely implemented differently. million instructions per second (MIPS) in computer systems. P is the received power. it is necessary to establish a generic energy consumption model of the RBS. • For a given rate R.1 percent [4]. It renders a prominent challenge to improve the EE of wireless systems. measure. Indeed. Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX). and antennas. the EE of a communication system based on the additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel can be written as Retail 2% Data center 6% Figure 1. 1 should be replaced by the sum of the supplied power of the RBS and user terminals. and apply enhanced architecture and deployment strategies for EE improvement. Information theory reveals some insights on the complexity. Equation 1 shows that if N0 is fixed. EE in a communication system is not a simple problem. This gives a hint to trade bandwidth with energy. a significant part of energy turns into heat. interference and fading make EE of a wireless system vary according to the radio environment. and thus show different energy consumption profiles. which helps to isolate energy consumption problems in and derive EE solutions for RBSs. using more bandwidth requires less power. EE can therefore be defined as the ratio of useful work to the total supplied energy. including GSM. and so on. Balancing these two objectives complicates the system design. the maximum EE of a system is hard to achieve. P P ⎝ BN 0 ⎠ (1) where R is the bit rate of information. We use the EE model defined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for wireless access network equipment [5]. In a communication system information is transmitted in the form of modulated electrical. The generic energy consumption model abstracts the main energy consumption sources in an RBS. Therefore P in Eq. Energy consumption composition of a mobile operator [3]. Note that Eq. electromagnetic. RBS ENERGY CONSUMPTION MODEL To understand energy consumption problems in RBSs. carrier frequency. IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011 31 . If the bandwidth is infinite. As shown in Fig. • The objective to optimize throughput performance is normally conflict with that to maximize EE. and throughput (bits per second) in communication systems. There are two basic methods to measure EE. According to the Shannon formula. 1 gives an EE model for a generic communication system. 2. which indicates the information units transmitted per one energy unit. EE also depends on distance. The definition of EE varies according to measured objects.tems. an RBS site typically comprises RBS equipment and several infra- ηEE = ⎛ R B P ⎞ = log 2 ⎜1 + ⎟. It should be also remarked that Eq. Measurements show a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) RBS may only have EE of 3. or optical waveforms.

1% 20% *PA of RBS in GSM consumes 1320 watt power Figure 2. RBS equipment is a network component that serves one or more cells and interfaces the mobile device through an air interface and wireless network infrastructure. and other constraints.In addition to improve the PA efficiency. Radio transceivers. as well as sending and reception of signals to/from higher network entities. Moreover. The energy consumption profiles of typical GSM [4] and third-generation (3G) [6] RBSs are provided in Fig. the battery backup supplies energy to the RBS when the AC power line is down. This is a very promising energy saving technique for an RBS. implementation methods. the RBS equipment could enter the idle mode by turning off the radio chains of transceivers so that the power of the RBS could be saved.. at idle times of the RBS). 32 IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011 . an RBS site may be implemented in a distributed form where remote radio heads (RRHs) are collocated with remote antennas. The overall power efficiency of a 3G RBS is 20 percent. which include radio frequency (RF) PAs. To emphasize the impact of RF PA on the EE of an RBS. If the power efficiency of an RBS is defined as the ratio of the radiated power to the feeding power. By enhancement. dynamic operation range. In addition. which comes with high cost. the PA efficiency in a 3G RBS is boosted to 45 percent. are key components in RBS equipment.g. A PA amplifies the signal for transmission via antenna. and offers electrical energy to the equipment. As we can see.outdoor system RBS Power interface AC/DC power supply (PS) Output PA Input Idle Transceivers Climate control (CC) RF interface Battery back-up (excluded in model) Transmission/ aux (optional) (TXM) Network Examples of power consumption values of RBS (unit: watt) Input GSM 3G 3802 300 PS 602 20 TXM 300 110 RBS* 2400 150 CC 500 20 Output 120 60 EE 3. This is a very promising energy saving technique for a RBS. the PAs of the GSM RBS consume 35 percent of the feeding power. at the idle time of the RBS. Outdoor energy consumption reference model of a generic RBS site. the structure of transceivers is drawn in the model. the climate control maintains the operating climate of the equipment within a defined range. The indoor and distributed models are not depicted since they are similar to the outdoor model. the efficiency of RF power amplifiers normally ranges from 15 to 35 percent. e. The power supply connects to the AC power line or battery. the overall power efficiency of the GSM RBS is only 3. Advanced techniques like Doherty designs and envelope tracking designs are able to boost PA efficiency up to 60 percent [7]. an alternative is to switch off PAs dynamically when possible.1 percent. Figure 2 shows only the outdoor reference model of a concentrated RBS site. to improve the PA efficiency. Limited by material. RBS site . We describe different proposals based on this technique in the next section. the transmission module connects the RBS to the core network. 2. In case of no traffic load. Note that an RBS can be deployed indoors. transmission module. The PA is identified as the main cause of the EE problem in an RBS. The PA remains a big problem for the overall EE. Infrastructure support systems of an RBS include power supply. battery backup. structure support systems. an alternative that comes at a high cost is to switch off PAs dynamically when possible (e. climate control.g. Radio transceivers are responsible for transmission and reception of radio signals. and other auxiliary equipment.

This is because: • The maturity of 2G and 3G standards limits the application of network energy saving methods due to the backward compatibility problem. using a multicast broadcast singlefrequency network subframe to reduce RSs. NETWORK ENERGY SAVING METHODS Energy saving in an RBS is the key research area to improve EE of a wireless access network [5]. the system bandwidth is divided into a set of subcarriers. Since those solutions are tightly related to the frame structure of the LTE system. using a multicast broadcast single frequency network (MBSFN) subframe to reduce RSs. the main solutions are introduced. As shown in Fig. the frequency to transmit RSs and control signals can be reduced. 3. 4 shows that at least 47 percent of the time in a frame. which is used in LTE. and introducing the extended cell discontinuous transmission (DTX) approach to further reduce RSs. or even shutting down the RBS site [8]. Note that in this article the discussion on network energy saving is focused on the LTE system. which has 7 symbols per slot. and introducing the extended cell discontinuous transmission approach to further reduce RSs.Network energy saving techniques Time Frequency Space Hybrid solutions Switch on/off cell PA off at signal-free symbol Extended cell DTX Bandwidth reduction Reduce antenna number MBSFN Carrier aggregation Layered structure HCS Figure 3. refers to mobile devices. Second. and spatial domains. which is the basic resource unit allocated to a unit of UE. 4 symbols in each of subframes 1–4 and 6–9. This is the principle for time domain energy saving solutions. Twelve consecutive subcarriers in one slot are grouped into a physical resource block (PRB). This approach is called the network energy saving method. a simple calculation from Fig. In the frequency domain. where EE is not the primary concern. it gives clues to adapt the power consumption of a RBS with its traffic load. introduction on the frame structure and control signals of LTE. Network energy saving can be done by reducing the operation time of PAs. normally in a frame. 4. The downlink of LTE uses orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) technology. Network energy saving methods. A symbol in a PRB is called a resource element of the PRB. 4. which is expected to be the mainstream future wireless access system. it is necessary to provide a brief PA Off at Signal-Free Symbol — The most straightforward approach is to turn off PAs in time periods of a slot where downlink symbols are signal-free. are summarized in Fig. the channel access time of an LTE cell served by an RBS is structured into contiguous time frames. each of which has a spacing of 15 kHz. frequency. PAs have to be on due to the need to transmit RSs and control signals. the overall EE of an RBS remains low. which are roughly classified into time. As a result. Assuming it takes half of a symbol time to turn on a PA but the PA can be immediately turned off. There are also hybrid solutions that combine methods from different domains. • LTE and WiMAX are selected as the technologies for the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)-Advanced system. the energy consumption of an RBS does not scale with its traffic load but maintains at a high level. There are three basic ways to temporally shut down PAs: turning off a PA in signal-free symbols. They have to be transmitted regularly even when there is no data traffic in a PRB. In the rest of the article. • Network energy saving studies on LTE are very active in the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards body In the following. Each slot accommodates 6 or 7 symbols. The reference signals (RSs) and control signals occupy resource elements of a PRB in a given pattern. in a normal LTE frame. 9 symbols in subframe 0. Network energy saving techniques for LTE. through dynamically tuning the parameters of RBS and mobile devices. Each frame is divided into 10 subframes of 1 ms duration. as shown in the previous section. As shown in Fig. The energy saving in time domain solutions can be measured by the time fraction where PAs are off during a time period. shrinking the working bandwidth. If there is no or less downlink traffic. First of all. It has great potential to improve EE of an RBS. There are three basic ways to temporally shut down PAs: turning off a PA in signal-free symbols. Accordingly the PAs can be shut down temporally. TIME DOMAIN Time domain solutions in LTE temporally shut down PAs in a RBS when in given time there is no data traffic in the downlink. As the traffic load of a RBS varies during the day. Each subframe consists of two equal-sized slots. presently RBSs of all kinds are designed for best performance. and 6 symbols of subframe 5 cannot be signal-free due to the need to transmit RSs and control signals. the term user equipment (UE). IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011 33 .

Bandwidth Reduction — Since the physical layer specification of LTE supports a set of transmission bandwidths. Without enough RSs.1% Extended cell DTX Normal Unicast Extended cell DTX MBSFN Figure 4. probably through joint time-frequency domain scheduling. and thus has no backward compatibility problem. requires changes in the standards. The first time domain approach is a pure implementationbased approach. Reducing RSs may also prevent UE from entering into terminal DTX mode and thus shorten its battery life. In LTE. to make them also effective in low traffic conditions. the reduction of RSs in the extended cell DTX approach has a negative impact on the performance of the UE. Time domain solutions are able to significantly reduce the PA operation time when a cell is idle. time domain solutions have to deal with backward compatibility and UE performance problems [8].1 percent. The extended cell DTX approach. Furthermore. some control procedures are performed with the assistance of RSs. FREQUENCY DOMAIN In the frequency domain there are mainly two approaches to energy saving: bandwidth reduction and carrier aggregation. In an MBSFN frame. MBSFN was included in LTE Release-8. it is possible for an RBS to change the channel bandwidth if needed. is able to further reduce RSs compared to the MBSFN approach. in the extended cell DTX mode there is no need to have any transmission in subframes 1–4 and 6–9 of a frame. In urban areas the idle traffic condition rarely occurs during a day. The PA operating time during a frame is then reduced to 28 percent. The 1 frame (10ms) 1 subframe (1ms) 1 slot (0. Moreover. The PA operating time in a frame is further reduced to 7. the symbols for RS in subframes 1–4 and 6–9 are reduced to 1. Reduce RSs of LTE frame in idle and low traffic load conditions. in which the pattern of RSs is a function of the downlink traffic load. Improvements are needed. and the states of UE and RBSs. Extended Cell DTX — The extended cell discontinuous transmission (DTX) approach [9]. 4.5ms) Frequency 9 RS Cyclic prefix 12 subcarriers Slot Subframe Slot 0 1 2 9 0 RS RS RS 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 RS RS 7 OFDM symbols RS RS Time Control signal Subframe 0 On/off of PA RS Primary sync signal Broadcast channel (BCH) control Secondary sync signal Subframe 5 100% PA on time in a frame Normal Unicast 47% 28% Subframe 1-4.MBSFN — The second approach uses the MBSFN structure to reduce the number of RSs. however. It demands a new adaptive pilot design. 6-9 MBSFN 7. some UE may experience unpredictable problems synchronizing with an RBS or decoding control signals. As shown in Fig. MBSFN is proposed to deliver services such as mobile TV using the LTE infrastructure. which is currently under discussion in 3GPP Radio Access Network (RAN) Working Group (WG) 1. 34 IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011 . if there is no downlink traffic. It is ideal to apply them on RBSs in rural areas. Those problems have to be solved before applying the extended cell DTX mode.

Reducing the output power will degrade the PA efficiency and in turn compromise the energy saving gain. in which always-on macrocells are deployed for basic coverage and micro/picocells are used for capacity boost. Therefore. if the branches of antennas are reduced from 4 to 1. and the served UE units are handed over to the remaining cells. One is signaling directly between RBSs. the channel bandwidth can be shrunk so that less power is required. If the downlink traffic is low. as femtocells are usually deployed much closer to UE. When the traffic load in a given area is low. and maintenance (OAM) layer of the system. they are switched off to save energy if the macrocell is able to provide enough capacity. the RF transmission power could be reduced by around 3 dB. It works for the situation where the traffic load of a cell is low. where those cells may use different radio access technologies (RATs). SPATIAL DOMAIN The aforementioned approaches in the time and frequency domains are employed in a single RBS. There are mainly two ways to reduce bandwidth: shrink bandwidth but keep the carrier frequency. Those inactive cells can be turned on during the busy time. due to the aforementioned constraints. less transmission energy is needed to maintain equal QoS. In the spatial domain. and each group is served by individual PAs. To maintain the same power spectral density (PSD). However. some cells can be shut down. They are normally combined with energy saving methods in other domains. a wireless wide area network (WWAN) is deployed in one layer. if switching off a cell creates uncovered areas. the efficiency of frequency domain solutions is limited. when the channel bandwidth is changed from 10 MHz to 5 MHz. Layered Structure — We propose the layered structure approach [12] to further improve EE of wireless access networks. and are therefore more flexible. the antenna port number is assumed to be fixed during all active time of the RBS. Reduce Antenna Number — Reducing antenna number is the most commonly used energy saving technique in the spatial domain. Moreover. switching off cells may reduce the battery life of served UE units as they have to connect with other cells far away. There are two ways to switch on/off cells. or shrink bandwidth and change the carrier frequency. The change of the antenna number should notify UEs properly. Carrier Aggregation — In the carrier aggregation approach. It is reasonable for the UE to hand over to a femtocell when feasible for energy saving. However. We propose a new approach that takes advantage of traffic offloading in a layered structure to reduce energy consumption of the whole network. However. an additional mechanism is needed to maintain the strength of control signals at the cell edge. The reduction of antenna branches decreases IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011 35 . Moreover. a macrocell RBS can further reduce its energy consump- In general. smaller bandwidth requires less radiated power. For instance. Normally . signaled by neighboring working cells or the operations. One straightforward way is to boost the power of RSs and control signals so as to maintain the cell size. This approach is suitable for the low traffic load case. Assuming a two-layer structure where macrocells form one layer and femtocells another. Second. The layered structure is a combination of different systems/networks to serve same mobile devices. remaining active cells need to increase their power to cover this area. as the PAs associated with those branches can be switched off. It is an implementation-based approach without the need to change standards. The antenna number reduction approach may lead to service degradation or interruption as the antenna reconfiguration is needed. this approach does not shut down PAs. frequently switching on/off cells affects services in UE. As an operating PA consumes much more than an inactive PA. Moreover. It can combine with the bandwidth reduction technique for the low traffic mode of an RBS. the efficiency of frequency domain solutions is limited. it is assumed that in an RBS the carriers are aggregated by groups. fewer RSs are needed for smaller bandwidth. the solutions can be extended to heterogeneous networks. It is suggested to use this approach in the semi-static load case. Otherwise. due to the aforementioned constraints. Third. Its usage should be limited to a semi-static manner. Otherwise it will impact UE’s behaviors. In general.bandwidth reduction technique adapts the bandwidth with the downlink traffic load. This further reduces the power budget. administration. Cells for capacity boost only operate when the traffic load is high in macrocells. Switch On/Off Cell — The cell switch-off approach [10] is a system-level approach that works in an area covered by multiple cells. A special case of the cell switch-off approach is called the hierarchical cell structure (HCS) approach [11]. It is only applicable to an RBS that has aggregated carriers and separate PAs attached to each group of carriers. the energy saving from this approach may be marginal. In this case this approach heavily relies on the implementation of the RBS. it has several limitations. For instance. This may neutralize the energy saving gain. and wireless local area networks (WLANs) are used in other layers. however. The main approaches currently used in the spatial domain are reducing antenna number in an RBS and dynamically configuring cells in a multicell scenario. the total output power and shrinks the cell size. frequency domain solutions have less impact on UE. Layers are allowed to use different RATs. In a normal operation of a RBS. frequency domain solutions have less impact on UE. While the cell switch-off approach tries to make a good balance between performance and energy saving. a PA normally operates at an optimized point with a given output power range. First. This approach has no need to modify the low-layer components in the RBS. The other is dedicated control from the OAM layer of the system. energy consumption of transceivers is reduced to 1/4. They are normally combined with energy saving methods in other domains. The idea is to shut down the associated PAs when the corresponding aggregated carriers are not scheduled for the downlink traffic.

MBSFN for low load 2. 1. It may take a long time for a system reconfiguration to reach a stable cell working status. MBSFN for idle cell 7. Different from HCS. Seen from Fig. and the maximum number of MBSFN subframes in a frame. spectrum and other resources cross systems. MBSFN for low load shows highest performance. The energy saving gains of different approaches is compared with the full load case where no described energy saving technique is applied. hybrid solutions are recommended only in semi-static traffic conditions. The preliminary results are shown in this section. which includes 7 h low load time and 2 h idle time. also plays an important role in the evaluation of any EE solution. for a communication system the HYBRID SOLUTIONS Hybrid solutions combine solutions in different domains to adapt energy consumption of an RBS in different traffic conditions. In those approaches the hybrid solution dynamically configures the cell bandwidth. which are extended cell DTX and MBSFN for no load. The layered structure is used to improve capacity. The bandwidth reduction solution outperforms the antenna number reduction solution. Full load. which covers probably all aspects in the ecosystem of communications. coverage. First of all.4 MHz instead of 20 MHz bandwidth. 5. 60% PERFORMANCE COMPARISON Performance of different network energy saving approaches discussed in 3GPP RAN WG1 has been actively studied [8. the application of a complex signal processing algorithm may reduce the transmission energy for the same amount of data. Traffic offloading algorithms and mobility management are keys to achieve energy saving in the proposed architecture. It is an extension of HCS. Second. The challenge of hybrid solutions is the processing/interruption time and signaling for system reconfiguration. This is because the idle time only occupies a very small fraction of time during a day. Therefore. Among three low load approaches. the study of EE in green wireless communications has to be kept in mind a holistic view. Preliminary studies have shown it provides significant improvement against a standalone solution. reference model 4. For instance. It is necessary to consider the EE solution from the system perspective. 6. It should be noted that different traffic patterns lead to different performance results. an RBS can be configured to use single carrier under the carrier aggregation case. the embodied energy. 5. A better energy saving gain can be achieved by the hybrid solution. For instance. It is for several reasons. the optimization of EE at one point of the system may lead to suboptimal results at other points. the energy saving approaches for no load scenarios. Reducing the cell bandwidth and changing the antenna number 36 IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011 . Third. The layered structure approach uses flexible architecture to optimize the use of energy. Hybrid solution. but drain more power for signal processing and cooling. changing the carrier frequency will force the UE to hand over to another cell and then back to the new carrier. The energy saving gains of different energy saving approaches under a given daily traffic pattern are shown in Fig. reconfiguration based on load variation Figure 5. Relative energy consumption of different network energy saving techniques. carrier number.100% Energy consumption compared to full load mode 80% introduce system information update time and reconfiguration time in an order of 10 ms. The energy saving approaches working for the low load scenarios provide better energy saving performance than those only working in the no load scenarios. The introduction of any new architecture and device for EE improvement should consider the total energy consumed in the life cycle of the system. The daily traffic pattern is assumed in Fig. 40% 20% 0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Network energy saving solutions and reference model 1. as well as avoidance of the impact on UE performance. Reduce channel bandwidth 6. achieve energy saving gain less than 8 percent. as well as the MBSFN subframe number in a frame according to the load condition of the RBS [13]. to maximize the energy saving gain under very low downlink traffic conditions. which is the energy used to manufacture telecom equipment. Reduce antenna number 5. tion by offloading the traffic load to femtocells. antenna number. it has no constraint on deployment but relies on close coordination between layers to achieve coexistence and energy saving. 13]. It dynamically allocates the traffic load among different layers of the system and reconfigures different layers to meet service requirements and energy saving goals. and then applying macrocell RBS energy saving techniques. and EE of the network. in additional to the energy consumed in the use phase of a system. a single antenna. for the components of a macrocell RBS consume much more energy than the counterparts of a femtocell RBS. Extended cell DTX 3. RESEARCH CHALLENGES Fundamental research problems remain in the network energy saving research of green wireless communications. First.

TKN-03-017. Tech. For [3] C. no. A holistic approach is needed for comprehensive understanding of the whole system. “Green Radio: Radio Techniques to Enable Energy-efficient Wireless Networks. An EE solution is developed based on certain energy consumption model. Cognitive approaches can be used at the spectrum level for spectrum coexistence and interference management. Dec.” IEEE Commun.” Net!Works European Technology Platform. “An Overview of Energy-efficiency Techniques for Mobile Communication Systems. 46–54. and spatial domains. use of EE metrics. frequency and spatial domain. June 2011. vol. and for network energy saving the performance usually refers to throughput. network layer to integrate heterogeneous networks and treat EE as one of the primary optimization targets to provision service across multiple networks. More efforts are needed from the modeling to specific solutions. Han et al. The use of beamforming through multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antennas. Gammage et al. A good energy consumption model captures key variables of a system regarding energy consumption while providing sufficient abstraction. system reconfiguration. Cognitive approaches can also be applied at the 100% Low Relative traffic load 80% Busy 60% 40% Low 20% Idle Low 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Time (hour) 16 18 20 22 Figure 6. we believe the most promising solutions are those that apply hybrid techniques cross multiple systems/networks. REFERENCES [1] B.. Rep.networksetp. frequency. IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011 37 . 2009. Technical University Berlin. Yang’s work is partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under grant 60902041. in which learning is used for better adaption [14].” Gartner Report. New EE metrics are demanded. An example of the daily downlink traffic load pattern of an RBS. One of the most promising ways to improve system-level EE of wireless systems may lie in cognitive approaches. a network energy saving solution based on a common model may be far from achieving best energy saving gain for a specific system. A service provisioned by multicast with a low bit/joule figure may still outperform that by unicast with a high bit/joule figure on EE. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The work from the authors of VTT is supported by the JADE project. [2] R. The energy saving problem cross multiple systems/networks is less understood. The EE metric is normally defined as a performance per unit of energy. and system-level EE design. and cross layer adaptation.improvement of EE should not compromise the required QoS. multi-domain scheduling. Consequently. This problem can be tackled by solutions from the time. Tafazolli et al. the EE problem at the system level can be modeled as a joint optimization problem which takes into account resource allocation in time. Karl et al. QoS is normally not considered in the EE metric. Given service requirements. [4] H.. Sept. As most solutions only focus on a single RBS. the delivery capacity of a system is used to provision services. it is required to evaluate EE from a new angle concerning services... http://www. and by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China under grants 2009DFB13080 and 2010DFB10410. Conventional EE metrics like bit/joule are insufficient to capture EE from the service perspective. It then requires special attention on the energy consumption model before applied it in a specific network energy saving study. “eMobility Mobile and Wireless Communications Technology Platform: Strategic Applications Research Agenda. which is partially funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation under grant DN40474/09. However. it is important to make EE a high priority in the design and development of wireless access networks. different systems offering similar capacity performance may show significant different energy consumption features. They remain important EE metrics for EE study.” TKN. 2003. the metric of bit per joule is the widely used EE metric which provides the absolute comparison of EE among different systems. “Gartner’s Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users.. Moreover. The challenge on modeling energy consumption of a system is that energy consumption of telecom equipment is implementation-dependent and load-dependent. which further renders challenges on energy consumption modeling. Conforming to the same standard. has great potential to mitigate interference and save energy. July 2010. The main challenge of the system-level EE design lies in the EE improvement of the whole system/network through load balancing. pp. As wireless access networks experience exponential growth worldwide. Joint scheduling algorithms enabled by cooperation across multiple RBSs are expected. 49. CONCLUSION This article provides an overview of energy consumption problems in wireless access networks and describes network energy saving techniques proposed for the LTE system. It is identified that the common energy consumption problem in an RBS of a wireless access system is the energy scaling traffic load problem. 2010 and Beyond: A New Balance. Mag. powered by intelligent adaptive techniques. the aforementioned network energy saving approaches shall avoid any severe impact on the user experience of UE. For new EE architecture design and cooperative service development for EE. 6. For instance. A good trade-off is needed between performance and energy saving gain.

From 2003 to 2007 he worked as a researcher in CREATE-NET.15 WPAN standardization task group. He was the principal author and contributor for proposing DS-UWB in the IEEE received his Ph. Belgium. From December 2002 to August 2004 he was with the UWB Research Consortium. is currently vice director at Shanghai Research Center for Wireless Communications (WiCO). United Kingdom. and cooperative communications. [13] “Energy Saving Techniques to Support Low Load Scenarios. I. Kiviranta. China.” 3GPP R1-100162. [9] “Extended Cell DTX for Enhanced Energy-efficient Network Operation. Prior to that. He serves as Chair of the Technical Committee on Cognitive Networks (TCCN) of the IEEE Communications Society. China. 4G mobile systems. he was with the Telecommunications Advancement Organization (TAO) of Japan as a TAO Research Fellow. where he led its wireless group in participating in a number of European FP6 & FP7 projects (EUWB. He is currently a senior scientist at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Cripps. His current work is related to spectrum and energy efficiency for heterogeneous networks. Since 2008. turer.” 3GPP R1-101528. Nov. Ericsson. energy efficiency of heterogeneous wireless networks.[5] “Energy Efficiency of Wireless Access Network Equipment. wireless mesh networks. [14] H.” 3GPP R1-101084. [6] U.” 3GPP R3-092478. [10] “Overview to LTE Energy Saving Solutions to Cell Switch Off/on. 2010. both in telecommunications engineering. M’10] (tao. in conjunction with SDR’11-WInnComm-Europe. “Cognitive Radio for Green Communications and Green Spectrum. [12] T. 2010. as well as co-director of the York-Zhejiang Lab for Cognitive Radio and Green Communications. 2009. From 2008 to 2009 he was with NEC Laboratory Europe where he carried out WiMAX projects.” Mobile VCE Wksp. Nov. Nokia. degree from University of Trento. he has been with VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. His research interests include dynamic spectrum access.E. [7] S. Green Radio. He is an Honorary Visiting Professor of the University of York. Barth. in HAESIK KIM (haesik. EARTH Research Project. United Kingdom. and Ph. where he is working as a program manager for research programs. 2010. and suppression for WCDMA. Huawei. and senior lecturer. Feb. Zhang. He was Co-Chair of the IEEE GLOBECOM 2008 Symposium on Selected Areas in received his B. Finland. degree in communication systems from Lancaster University.” COMNETS 2008. Ericsson. Italy. and is involved in cognitive radio and network projects. in 2007. YANG YANG (yang. He is currently with Nokia Siemens H ONGGANG Z HANG (honggangzhang@zju.” presented at ETSI Green Agenda Seminar. working as senior researcher and project manager. degree in 1980 from the University of received his M. the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) of Japan. Chen. In the past he has worked on channel estimation. Zhejiang University. and Brunel University and University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom as an assistant professor.E. Huawei. interference cancellation. respectively. “Wireless Networks. and relay networks. “Energy Saving Techniques in Layered Structure of LTE Systems. in conjunction with CHINACOM 2008. 2009. mainly for LTE and LTE-A. Aug. RF Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications. 2009.yang@shrcwc. China. Oulu. From 1996 to 2003. and wireless networking. cooperative communications. From October 1999 to March 2002. lec- 38 IEEE Wireless Communications • October 2011 . cognitive is a full professor at the Department of ISEE.D. China. PULSERS 2).horneman@nsn. Brussels. Chinese Academy of Sciences. Oct. BIOGRAPHIES T AO C HEN [S’05. Feb. From September 2004 to February 2008 he was with CREATE-NET. [8] “Discussion on Network Energy Saving in LTE.Sc. Jan.chen@vtt. and M. and general signal processing implementations for transmission systems. degree from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. June 2011. 2009. SIMIT.E. From 2002 to 2006 he was with Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology where he focused on UWB and SDR projects. Harjula. [11] “Considerations on Energy Saving Solutions in Heterogeneous Networks.” ETSI TS102706. he was an engineer in a national research institute at China. he served the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Italy. Artech House. From April 2002 to November 2002 he was at the TOYOTA IT Center. KARI VEIKKO HORNEMAN (kari. 2006.D. Hangzhou.” 3GPP R1-095011. His research interests include wireless ad hoc and sensor networks.

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